The event was fabulous, music all day, Open Mic Poetry Readings at both ends of 135th Street and crowds of poetry and book lovers everywhere. There were racks of books, food and drink enough for the crowds to enjoy their day. Although the humidity ensured the crowds were blessed with warmth, the fair managed to escape the possibility of rain and we had a wonderful day.
I was at the Harlem Book Fair supporting the NWU, National Writers Union at their booth looking for new members in their effort to support writers. The representation of the NWU not limited to book fairs and conferences. The organization leads, supports and defends writers whose rights have been jeopardized.
The NWU was instrumental in the recent law adopted in the State of New York - “Freelance Writing Is Not Free” – The law is a huge movement sweeping our nation and the NWU supports every writer in their effort to receive pay for work performed. Writing is not to be misconstrued as “free” because the writer is working as a “freelance” writer.
In that same vein, Ebony Media Organization (EMO) is making headlines throughout America because of their reluctance to pay writers employed by Ebony. The NWU, National Writers Union has taken a stand on behalf of the writers. The NWU President, Larry Goldbetter stated “This is completely unacceptable. See You In Court!”
The NWU represents approximately 30 writers who are owed $60K. These actions have forced EBONY to begin issuing checks to writers, although only three of the 30 writers have been paid in full thus far. The NWU will continue their efforts until all writers are paid for work performed because “Freelance Writing Is Not Free.”
This is only one of the areas in which the NWU supports its members. Their legal staff assists their members with the review of publishing contracts. They hold numerous events for both members and non-members helping advance the skill of writing, self-publishing, in’s and out’s of acquiring an agent, etc. The benefits are extensive and increasing. Members to meet and share their experiences as a writer, and work in solidarity, supporting each other for the benefit of all.
Upcoming events include the NWU NY Annual Picnic on August 27, 2017. NY Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island on July 29/30, 2017 and writing event lectures starting in September 2017. For additional upcoming events, visit http://www.NWU.org